How to Execute a Successful Conference Presentation
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How to Execute a Successful
Conference Presentation

Answers to your most commonly asked questions

Securing a presentation slot at one of the annual conferences your business clients attend provides an outstanding sales and marketing opportunity for your bank. If you're like most of the bank marketers we talk to, you probably have a number of questions about how to pursue such an opportunity.

We've asked FPS President Vince DiPaolo to field your most commonly asked questions.

Q. How do we determine which conferences to target for a speaking engagement?

A. You want to go where your clients and prospects are. Company size is a factor to consider. If your target clients are small to mid-sized companies, you should target local and regional events. For instance, if you are targeting middle-market firms in Texas or Louisiana, TEXPO would probably be a good conference to speak at. Conversely, if your bank is more focused on gaining and keeping business from national and multinational firms, you will be more likely to find them at national and international conferences, such as the annual conferences of the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) or Sibos, the annual meeting organized by SWIFT and held in locations around the world. Here's a list of treasury management conferences and related presentation deadlines.

Q. How can we increase our odds of securing a presentation slot?

A. Pitching the right topic is paramount. Start by asking your sales team what topics their clients are talking about. What challenges are they asking for help with? Are there regulatory issues, technologies or marketplace shifts they want to learn more about? The issues your clients are facing today are likely the same issues conference organizers will be looking to qualified subject matter experts to address.

Next, cross-check those topics against what may have already been covered in last year's sessions. Fresh information is the lifeblood of any great conference agenda. Reviewing the previous lineup will also clue you into what presentation formats seem most popular. For instance, how many presentations included a corporate co-presenter? Having a corporate co-presenter is the preferred format for many conferences; in fact, some conference organizers won't consider a presentation proposal from a bank that does not include a corporate co-presenter.

Also, does the conference you are targeting tend to favor presentations based on case studies or corporate success stories? And how prevalent are panel discussions on the agenda? Asking all of these questions can help you develop the most attractive presentation proposal possible.

Q. Once we've been selected to present, what are some best practices for streamlining the presentation development process?

A. Once you've identified your internal subject matter expert(s) on the selected topic, you'll want to assign a project manager and engage a communications professional to assist on the project. That professional's first step should be to help you establish a timeline for developing the presentation. Be sure to note the event organizer's deadline for submitting your presentation slides, and allow plenty of time in the schedule to establish an outline, conduct interviews, write and review multiple content drafts, and develop the presentation slides themselves. Don't forget to leave time for the bank's Legal and Compliance group to review and give its blessing to the presentation. If you have a corporate co-presenter, also leave time for both the co-presenter and others at his or her company to conduct any required reviews.

Q. What are some keys to developing a strong presentation?

A. The main strategy should be to meet the informational needs of your audience. Provide them the information they need to address their challenges, improve their performance and impress their bosses. Above all else, don't try to sell them a product or promote your bank.  A couple best practices include:

  • Include plenty of visuals in the presentation slides. People these days are used to being visually stimulated. Slides jam-packed with words will put them to sleep.
  • Make it fun. Just because the goal is to educate doesn't mean a presentation has to be boring. If you want your session to be memorable, urge your speaker to add fun images to his or her slides, or build a gimmick or twist into the session that the audience has never seen before. Think of all the boring presentations you have attended — and make your bank's presentation different!

Q. How can we get the most exposure for our presentation, before, during and even after the event?

A. Before the conference, you'll want to develop a promotional piece highlighting the speaker(s), topic and the presentation date and time slot. This can be sent both electronically and in print to your client and prospect list. If the conference provides an attendee list in advance, you'll want to add those attendees to your send list as well.

During the conference, this same promotional piece can be repurposed as a handout at your exhibit booth.

After the conference, these presentations can form the basis for some excellent sales and marketing pieces, since they feature the expertise of your bank on critical topics and reinforce your standing as a thought leader in the industry. You can repurpose the presentation content in special reports, case studies, white papers, and trade publication articles. Extend shelf-life by hosting the presentation in the desired format on your website, where it can be accessed time and again by clients and prospects, as well as your own sales team.

In my experience, banks who follow these guidelines will increase the likelihood of securing a presentation slot at the conference(s) of their choice, generate good will with the conference organizers,  earn rave reviews from attendees, and come away with more quality leads as a result.

Many leading banks call on FPS to assist them throughout this entire process. For details on our conference presentation services, click here.

Click here to view Vince DiPaolo's profile on LinkedIn.

FPS develops, manages and distributes custom business content on behalf of banks and other financial services marketers. Specializations include marketing consulting, e-newsletters, conference presentations, white papers, case studies, multimedia demos and tutorials, and bylined article writing and placement services.

For more information, contact:
FPS Business Development Director Tom Nicholson at 212-203-2803 or [email protected].
FPS President Vince DiPaolo at 847-501-4120 x3 or [email protected].

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